Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I'm still here

... but our computer is still in the shop. So this is a drive-by blogpost from my phone :)

If you left a comment on the last few posts with your IG user name, I found you and made sure you weren't blocked... So go ahead and send a request to follow there (psalm127.5) . It was easier to post a general message here than reply on my phone to each comment ! 

This post will be a bit photo heavy - trying to catch up on a month of missing-in-action status means LOTS of pictures. They might not be in the right order either, so pretend this is one of those books or movies where they are constantly switching between the past and the present and you are constantly stopping and asking "wait whaaaa --- ?" . It will all make sense in the end.

I think.

Carry on .

.... No explanation needed .

... Hayden went on a walk with me a few weeks ago.

We love fall in Oregon :)

Life as a Lilybird is exhausting ..

A bit of Daddy worship before he leaves for work (and Hayden insisted on a matching ponytail with sissy. Don't judge - if you knew the mornings we have with this little terrorist, a man bun is the least of our worries !!) ...

A few Sundays ago ...

Tyler returned safely from Israel - he loved every minute of it ...

Lily and Hayden ask for their kitchen to be moved into the real kitchen all the time. Seriously the best $40 we ever spent on Craigslist (and it was from Pottery Barn AND it was stocked with all the kitchen utensils and pots and pans AND it came with a matching shopping cart. Praise God for Craigslist.)

Hayden fell asleep on his own in Abbi's bed the week before Thanksgiving. I thought maybe we were winning the weaning war (he always nurses to go to sleep) but alas he was the seventh member of our family to come down with strep throat last month. Not a fun experience, but we all survived and are thanking God for modern medicine !

He was so good at the doctor's office, in spite of being so sick - I had to treat him to a Starbuck's snowman cookie :)

Just a random photo of Lily sleeping ... wearing one of our favorite hair clips from Jude & Fi !

This was me and my Bunny three weeks ago....

Sunday morning posing ...

Naptime with Noah ....

The next few pics are from Jackson and Noah's last football game - they played an undefeated season under the excellent coaching of their older brothers and had a lot of fun while doing so.

Kenzie took these photos with a lens she rented for the weekend ...if anyone has an extra $2,000 lying around to buy me one for Christmas, I won't complain !! ;)

Jack on attack ...

The huddle.... and the cuddle ...

Above- Noah going for his 18th touchdown of the season.

Below - Lily the self-appointed team cheerleader !

...and Hayden, filling in wherever needed (hug dispenser, water bottle delivery boy, cell phone keeper) ...


We took these two to breakfast yesterday and you would have thought they died and went to Heaven - they each devoured a giant teddy bear pancake topped with mini chocolate chips and kept us entertained the entire meal...

We have never before taken part in the highly popular "Elf on the Shelf" game, mainly because a) I have been too cheap to splurge for $30 on a plastic toy and b) we suck at the tooth fairy thing so bad that I've been afraid to set us up for failure during the busy holiday season. I'm doing good to make sure Santa's cookies have nibbles taken out of them and that his note is not written on the back of my shopping list (why can I NEVER find a blank piece of paper and a functioning pen at one in the morning every Christmas Eve when the kids are finally all nestled safe in their beds ???!) Anyhoot, I always ditched Elf on the Shelf for those reasons and a few others, but when I saw this cute little cheap imitation guy sitting on the shelf at Michael's this Saturday, his blue eyes just seemed to bore holes into mine .... take me home, they said, and two dollars and ninety-nine cents later he was mine.

Meet Flannery .... the newest mischief maker at The Rice Ranch.

He decorated the bathroom with toilet paper this morning, and my littlest ones were so tickled to find him there...  we'll be looking for lots of fun ideas for this little scoundrel over the next few weeks, so feel free to leave your suggestion in the comment section :)

I have lots more photos to share from the past month that I've been missing (thank you to MyMy and all others who have emailed or commented to check in on us !!). I'll try post them in the next few days, but for now I will end with my 31 week baby bump shot. Baby Madison has taken over my entire body here, but after 28 years of carrying babies I am just feeling blessed and honored to do so. Saggy skin and stretch marks and depleted waistlines, heartburn and insomnia and charlie horses - it's all worth it, and I cannot WAIT to hold this beautiful girl in my arms in just a few short weeks !!!

Happy, happy December to all of you !!! xoxoxo

Monday, November 2, 2015


Posting from my phone ... because our computer "died" several weeks ago . You would think with three iPads and even more iPhones at The Rice Ranch we would be functioning just slightly less normally than usual, but alas such is not the case. 

For example, blogging from my phone works ... but uploading pics is iffy. I'm going to post some Halloween photos here in a minute, but if they end up blurry or small -  you'll know why. 

And there are other downfalls to being unplugged ...

Apparently we can hardly : cook without Pinterest, drive without Mapquest, shop without Amazon, or do business without Craigslist. Or add (no calculator). Or spell (no spellcheck.) 

These are the things we have discovered since our computer went down. 

And also ... we are a music family . Meaning we generally have music going every waking second of the day and sometimes at night when we forget to turn the computer off . We don't own a radio or a stereo, because it's against our religion .

 I KID. 

We had a stereo that broke a few years ago and we never replaced it when we figured out we could just listen to Pandora on the computer all day. 

Ditto with the radio. 

I used to be a radio talk show addict until an election went south on me seven years ago (sorry to all my liberal readers, just my personal opinion there. If you love Lily and large families, then keep reading and I promise not to insert my political feelings too much here again. Carry on.) 

Anyhoo, I just started tuning into politics again last summer, but I'm still doing so without a radio. Gasp. Or tv. Double gasp. I get all my information from this archaic thing called "reading" and also from an ongoing group text with several equally narrow minded friends . (Did you know narrow minded is not such a bad thing ? Open your mind too much and your brain just might fall out. Just sayin'.) So I've now been forced to do all my reading from my iPhone, and I've discovered that my eyesight sure ain't what it used to be. 

(Side note : I just sent a care package to my friend Cassie, who is in the hospital with her baby Liam. I included what I thought were some cute samples of shampoo and conditioners with penciled drawings of flowers and branches on the bottles. Cassie sent me a magnified picture of the samples I sent - apparently they were drawings of naked hairy men smoking cigars. Who'd a thunk it ?? Sorry, Robert and Cassie- I promise to go get some reading glasses STAT before I send any more care packages.) 

And finally - all of my kids do their math curriculum on disks that have to be used with the computer . Which is the main bummer of becoming unexpectedly unplugged . For some kids this might seem like a blessing in a disguise, but for the little Ricelets who work furiously during the school year so that they can have a long uninterrupted summer ... this is a tragedy.  

Anyhoot we have been living in the early 20th century for a few weeks without our computer, and thus the absence from my little bloggy here . If you have emailed me or left comments on blogposts, I have been TRYING to respond to each one, but my thumbs are getting a little crampy typing on my phone . And also I've had a yucky cold for the past few weeks, making voice texting into my phone a nightmare . I've (inadvertently) cussed in several texts to my husband (lesson learned : never hit "send" while voice texting with a cold until you proofread first) and I figured I better not risk offending you all in a similar manner by voice texting a blog post. Sooooo consequently, I am thumbing my way slowly through a typed blogpost on my phone. 

All of that to say - if you have emailed or commented and I didn't respond, I promise to do so as my thumbs allow, and as soon as Sam manages to convince the Mac store that they actually BROKE our computer.  (not kidding, there was nothing wrong with it other than a faulty disk drive when he brought it in, and suddenly they say "it's vintage and won't power up anymore and we need a new one." Uh huh.) 

where was I ? 

Oh yes, as soon as hell freezes over and the Mac store admits they owe us a replacement computer, I will be back online, typing blogposts by the traditional (and less crampy) hunt-and-peck method that has carried me faithfully through six plus years of blogging . 

In the mean time - if you have left a comment on previous posts requesting to follow my new and improved and privatized IG account, and you didn't leave your user name in your comment ... please leave another comment with your user name, so I can make sure you aren't blocked. Long story, but I reduced my previous IG account by deleting and blocking over 9,000 followers and I promise it was nothing personal. I just really wanted to go private and that was the best way to do so, to preserve all my pictures and videos posted there over the years ... If you were a faithful follower who didn't leave mean comments, then leave a comment here with your user name and I'll accept on IG.   (really, does anyone know why people would read or follow someone they hate so much ?? I can't think of a more boring way to live, but there you have it. Haters gonna hate and if they want to live like that, it's certainly their warped prerogative to do so ! And I say that in the most loving and non-judgmental way possible . Really, I do.) 

Okay, so here are the aforementioned pics from this weekend, and maybe someone can leave a comment telling me if they uploaded correctly . If there are wrinkles or age spots in the picture of me, I promise it is purely a technological error and not real life. 

Here we go ...

One last one before my thumbs fall off...

Happy November, friends !!! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Skinny Little Pumpkin Patch Post

You know that moment when you're talking to a friend, and suddenly they start telling you - in detail - the exact story they've told you before ? And you start to interrupt the story to remind them, but then you stop yourself, just in case it's a different story with the same beginning ... and also you don't want to embarrass them ?

I think I've experienced that a hundred times - only it's me telling the story. And then halfway through telling my story, I see the person I'm talking to half-smiling like I have food stuck in my teeth. So I self-consciously run my tongue over the front of my mouth, to make sure there's not a big piece of spinach there, when suddenly the lights come on and I realize - it's not the spinach, it's my story. I've told it before, and now I look like my old neighbor, Mrs. Krebbs, who would tell the same story to me and my brother and sister probably two or three times in the same week and never even realize she did it. (She also had a large piece of corn stuck between her two front teeth at our dinner table one night, while she was re-telling a story - I remember my siblings and I trying so hard not to look at each other during dinner, lest we spit out our chicken in a fit of spontaneous laughter. But that's a different story for a different blogpost. Unless I've told you that one already ??)


I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure every October on my blog there's a post entitled "My Big Fat Pumpkin Patch Post". And although the pictures might be different, and the children in the pictures are a little bit younger, the story is probably very similar in each post ...

"It was the perfect weather for the pumpkin patch" ... "My kids made crude jokes about odd-shaped pumpkins resembling different body parts" .... "Sam wheeled and dealed with the owner of the pumpkin patch, convincing her that because we have so many kids, we should be getting the group discount normally reserved for school field trips" ... and finally - "Lily plus boots plus pumpkins equals the cutest pictures on the planet."

Or something like that.

So instead of retelling the same story today, I'm just going to post my pictures with a few corny captions, and you won't have to read along pretending it's the first time you've ever heard me talk about how much I love pumpkin patches. And thankfully, you won't be able to tell if I have food stuck in between my teeth while I do it. (Because I'm not joining the Vlogging craze any time soon, for that precise reason ... among a host of others.)

And also - in case you didn't notice - I changed the title of my blogpost, just so you know it really IS a different post than the previous five years.

Here we go ....

Noah Stephen

The Lilybird

my two cuties

lily, hayden, and unnamed child that Kenzie babysits

kenzie and her new friend

Sorry, but all I see here is BACON !!! Times two.

this is a turkey. not to be confused with a rooster. see my instagram for details.

I love pumpkin patches !!! and cool barns.

hayden loves caprisuns

^^^^ favorite picture of my husband ever.

The Rebel Rice kid  ^^^

Caleb's pick

^^^^ He picked it out himself :)

SEE WHAT I MEAN ???? Lily plus boots plus pumpkins. Swoon.

Kenzie took this picture, and Tyler was at the post office getting his passport. He's going to Israel next month with a tour group from our church, and we won't discuss my anxieties about that or we will ruin my Skinny Little Pumpkin Patch Post. Jason and Josiah and their beautiful families made their own trips to the pumpkin patch, and we won't talk about how kids have to go and ruin my family pictures by growing up and making their own fun memories .... for the same reason we won't talk about Tyler's impending trip to the land of suicide bombers and headline-worthy events like that.

No, we are not going to talk about that here on my happy little Pumpkin Patch Post, okay ??? Don't even try to make me do it. This post is like Disneyland - leave all your troubles at the gates, just come on in and have fun and smile and eat an overpriced candied apple or two.


Moving on ....

Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from last week. Most of these were on Instagram - if you missed the post a few pages back, I explain there why I went private on IG and reduced my audience to a fraction of what it was. I was overwhelmed by the kind response there and requests to follow... if you would like to follow there again, read THIS POST, because I'm not retelling that same story twice either. But THANK YOU to all those who left the kindest comments on that post ... you all bless our socks off !

seriously - she is cuteness on steroids !!

And now for the two blog features I promised to add (you thought I forgot, didn't you ??)


If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know my addiction to Jude & Fi clips on Etsy.

These clips are not only darling and unique, but they actually stay in Lily's fine hair better than any other clips we have used. That's because they are made with wig clips that grab onto the hair without causing any damage, and secure the clip tightly. They come in a huge variety of colors and styles, and if I could, I would purchase every single one of them.

The creator of Jude & Fi clips is a sweet mama named Shannon - I met her via blogging when our girls were just babies, and her Fiona shares Lily's extra chromosome. I love supporting moms who work from home, and I love that every clip I purchase helps Shannon's business venture ... check out Jude & Fi today for these adorable hair clips.


Abigail made these amazing Princess Vanilla Cupcakes with Decadent Chocolate Frosting last week and they were TO DIE FOR. Literally, I think three of my kids killed each other fighting over the last one. 


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted. Beat the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla with an electric mixer in a large bowl until it has thickened slightly and is lighter in color. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed until just incorporated. Slowly pour in the hot milk, beating until just combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

*Note : Before passing them out to your family, make sure they are evenly distributed, without any leftovers. We cannot be held responsible for any deaths that result from sibling cupcake wars. You've been warned.

A few more pictures before I sign off - it's Sunday night and I hear my pillow calling me LOUD AND CLEAR. 

Tomorrow is another level two ultrasound out of town . This one is the big echocardiogram that will determine if our Baby Bunny has any heart defects. Please be praying that all goes well ... we are so excited to have a chance to see Madison again, and I will post an update as soon as time allows.

Here is my 24 week picture ...

Thank you again for all the love and prayers.

xoxo Patti